Tag: psychiatry and stigma
This is how the vicious cycle continues: the more one internalizes stigma, the more she will distance herself from her social surroundings; the more she distances herself, the more she will experience proliferation of symptoms; and the more symptoms are present, the more others will stigmatize and "force" the person into further isolation.
If we are going to really make a difference in the world of mental health stigma, we must get to the heart of the matter. All people deserve compassionate, honest care. All people, stigmatized and stigmatizers, deserve to be heard, understood, and valued, no matter what worth that society may place on them. I am my brother’s keeper. You are mine.
Public perception of mental health stigma does not entirely reflect a reality that exists. Many of you reading this that have experienced truly negative reactions from others (due to mental health concerns and/or treatment) may be angered or offended by this proposition. However, no one (especially myself) is saying that stigma is not a serious concern that doesn’t need to be addressed. It is. Although in some ways I do feel that people can seek out treatment with less apprehension today than decades ago, there is no doubt that many still experience negative reactions (intentionally or unintentionally) from what others perceive in them.
Experiencing emotional pain is a necessary part of life. Emotional pain often contains valuable lessons to help us on our journeys. We need to make sure we are not numbing our hearts to those that are hurting. We need to de-stigmatize the struggles, joys and pains that come with being human. We need to not just mindlessly pursue happiness - though we might think of that as an inalienable right - and avoid pain. We need to do the only thing that brings true joy: embrace all of life and each other, as we experience together all that makes us human.
For the North Carolina Law Review, Katie Rose Guest Pryal writes, that “ a psychiatric diagnosis, or involuntary civil commitment to a psychiatric ward—which is...